MIAMI – If you are worried about the health of our planet, Local 10′s five Eco-Hero finalists have probably made you feel a little bit better.
All this week, we’ve introduced you to some amazing middle schoolers and starting Friday night, you will have a chance to help us pick our Eco-Hero winner.
They will travel with us into wild Florida to make a prime time special.
For Angelina Carrero, who attends Jane Roberts K-8 Center in Miami, it all began last year when she was in the sixth grade.
“I noticed there were pieces of plastic and paper in the schoolyard, so I started picking them up. And I was like, ‘there should be a solution to this,’” Angelina said.
That solution was to start an eco-friendly club to inspire more kids to care about our planet.
Angelina recruited a teacher to sponsor her group and came up with a name -- the Environmental Action Club.
“So we put up posters around the school,” Angelina explained. “Mrs. Hernandez told her classes … The word just spread so fast.”
That’s why today, the Environmental Action Club has 38 members and is the biggest club on campus.
Students and staff at the school participate in a school-wide recycling program, but Angelina’s club takes the effort a step further, decorating recycling bins and turning trash pick-up into a competition.
“It was fun, but also helped the environment,” she said. “Everyone gets a bag to pick up trash and when that bag is full, you get another one. The person with the most bags wins. It was so much fun.”
Angelina’s enthusiasm inspired her classmates.
“So we go on field trips, we did a beach cleanup and collected over 70 pounds of trash,” Angelina said.
Angelina also tends to the school’s garden, growing vegetables for the younger students to try, and is also in charge of the club pet -- Croqueta the hamster.
She said she would love to learn about the much bigger animals that call the Everglades home should she be named this year’s Eco-Hero.
“I can learn more about the Everglades and share the information with the club and other students,” she said.
It’s that desire to share environmental information that makes Angelina say that every day should be Earth Day.
“Because we only have one Earth to live on -- we need to take care of it and spread the word,” she said.